Gratitude- a conversation with my fifth grader…

I am just bubbling over with joy tonight and had to share the most beautiful conversation I just had with my fifth grade son.
We returned three weeks ago from a 12 day adventure to Ethiopia, loving orphans and those in need. Within the past three weeks I have found myself feeling a bit blue that life here is moving fast and the boys all have school and homework and friends and on and on it goes. So often we are together but it has been tough to find the time and ways to reach Hayden and better know what he might be feeling when he thinks back to our days in Ethiopia. Tonight there wa a breakthrough and I will forever cherish what he said. Keep in mind he is a ten year old boy. Many days he says little more than necessary. 🙂

We were hanging out after the other three kids were asleep. He is a little night owl just like me. I was beginning my computer time and casually, like I have done a few other times, I asked, “So have you had any new thoughts on our trip? Do you miss Ethiopia?” {Pause} “Actually Mom when I think about the trip what I think about most is gratitude.” {be still this mother’s heart} ” Do you mean being grateful for the trip,” I ask.  “No Mom. I mean feeling gratitude about all that we have.” At this point I am fighting tears and I say, “Do you feel like we have it all?” Without hesitation he says, “Oh yeah Mom, we do! I think we could take at least 1000 items out of this house and be just fine without them. We should try it. We could give them to children at the children’s hospital.” {tears are rolling down at this point}

The dialogue goes on for a bit as we begin to brainstorm how we could do this. Stay tuned cause his brilliant idea is just that- BRILLIANT and I am thinking it would be wonderful to watch my family remove several hundred items and give them so someone with greater need. So many families need things to get back on their feet. Mother’s of babies need items we will no longer need as Ava continues to grow. I have already emailed a few close friends to ask who might be best to partner with so we could connect with a few local families in need. To be continued…

Sometimes I am so taxed by the day to day of parenting my very busy three sons. Miss Ava is a breeze but the boys well they are a handful at times with their noise and wild activity. And then there are the moments that truly take your breath away like seeing my six year old walk out of school with the tooth that was bothering him this morning all tucked inside a tooth fairy necklace around his neck. There is the spirit and pride of my eight year old as he walks on the soccer field and tells his coach and fellow players that he is feeling good and is all warmed up. Then there is my six year old who comes upstairs to announce that he wishes he were 11 so he could be the oldest. The serious tone in his voice makes holding in the laughter so challenging but this kid means it. He does not want to miss a thing his older brothers might do after he is fast asleep. Lastly, the conversation with Hayden that still has me smiling. It seemed crazy and yes I was fearful to some degree, but it was a big ole blessing to take that child to Ethiopia. It is not a trip for all children but it was the perfect fit for him. I am grateful for God’s great work in making it all happen.

I love the heart of a child and the questions they ask when encouraged to look beyond their own comort zone and their own noses. JUst a few minutes ago my three sons looked like this:

Now I see just how fast time is flying by and I do not want to miss even a moment of sharing God’s love to grow their already big hearts!

4 replies
  1. kim
    kim says:

    Oh my goodness, that made ME cry. I struggle everyday with trying to teach my girls (mostly my six year old) to appreciate what they have, and I often feel like I’m not getting anywhere.. but this gives me hope that maybe one day, they will GET it!

  2. Aunt Shanny
    Aunt Shanny says:

    Let the countdown begin. Are you at 999 yet? I am in awe of Hayden’s heart and love you all very much!

  3. Laura Courtney
    Laura Courtney says:

    Try a women’s shelter for Ava thing’s you no longer need. I donated a bunch of Katie’s things to one and they were so thankful. Those ladies leave and come to the shelter with nothing. All they come with is bravery and a hope for something better.

  4. Bridget Bowen
    Bridget Bowen says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful moment with us. Hayden is an amazing young man and I look forward to seeing how he is going to change the world. I am so happy I have had the opportunity to meet you and Hayden. You are an inspiration!

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